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Tick season still up in the air, BC CDC

The BC Centre for Disease Control says warming temperatures across the province could bring out an increase in ticks especially in wooded areas. 

They say this is typically the time of year when ticks attach themselves to pets and people but they’re not forecasting a heavy increased amount of these insects as the seasons progress, but only time will tell. 

BC CDC public health physician Mayank Singal says so far, the tick population has been on par with previous years so has illnesses related to these insects. 

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“It has been fairly consistent over the past couple of years,” he says. “Temperatures are one contributing factor to their population, but so is precipitation. 

“More remains to be seen on how this season will go.” 

He says ticks can carry several diseases and while they like to hide in secluded areas, they tend to prefer feeding off animals because of how easy it is to access this food source. 

“They’re just a little bit lower to the ground and shrubs where ticks like to hide,” Singal says. “We always suggest after people have been outside, especially around this time, that they check themselves to see if they are carrying ticks.” 

Across Canada ticks can carry three common types of diseases, including Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, and Lyme Disease. Singal says cases of these diseases are common but few and far between but could still warrant medical attention if contracted. 

“Vast majority of ticks in BC do not result in any illness, some certainly can,” he says. “The most common one is Lyme Disease, and we see roughly 6 to 39 cases per year. 

“A lot of the cases are acquired outside the province, so our local cases are much fewer.” 

He says the best way to prevent tick infection is to wear bug spray and long clothes if you are going to be venturing out into the wooded areas. 

Tick season typically starts in March and ends in October with the season peaking in late June. 

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